Patti Smith Duets With Dylan on “Dark Eyes”

One of Smith's classic albums. Her next album will be released in '96.

ATN Boston correspondent Seth Mnookin attended the Patti
Smith/ Bob Dylan performance in Boston this past Sunday (Dec. 10) evening. His
extended (2000 word) epic review will appear in the “Live” section of ATN in
the January issue. Here is his news report: Bob Dylan and Patti Smith brought
greater-Boston rock and roll fans to there knees for two consecutive nights
(Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th) at Boston’s gorgeous downtown
theatre/concert hall, the Orpheum. Dylan, whose been on somewhat of a tear for
the last year or two, didn’t disappoint those who had heard (often to their
disbelief) that The Bard was back in good form after a decade of maddeningly
inconsistent, and often downright awful, performances and albums. Playing with
his longtime band (who I refer to as the four banditos because of their
consistently cowboy-based attire), the most notable member being understated
guitar whiz J.J. Jackson, Dylan ripped through classics old and new in both
acoustic and electric segments. “Tangled Up In Blue,” “My Back Pages,” “Mr.
Tambourine Man,” “Silvio,” and a chillingly gorgeous duet with Smith on “Dark
Eyes” were just some of the two evenings’ highlights.

Still, it was Smith
who, both nights, stole the show. Returning to the stage this year for the
first time since 1980, Smith, joined by former Television guitarist Tom
Verlaine (and R.E.M. frontman and Smith fanatic Michael Stipe for one song on
Sunday) ripped her way through two fantastic, sweeping, sets, consisting of
both old classics (“Dancing Barefoot”), Dylan covers (“Wicked Messenger”), a
new tribute to Kurt Cobain, and a final, free-association, “Land of a Thousand
Dances,” and a Horses era cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” which
she played as a tribute to the Grateful Dead’s recently departed Jerry Garcia.
(Dylan also paid tribute to sometimes collaborator Garcia, performing the
Garcia penned “Alabama Getaway” both nights as an encore.) Indeed, Smith kept
the audience in constant (if sometimes conflicting) states of rapture and
amazement. While Smith actually did more or less disappear since 1980, Dylan
has often played and performed like he wanted to. But on Saturday and Sunday
nights, both was were truly wonderful, a reminder that rock and roll is not an
industry, but a beautiful
art.